by Irvin Muchnick and Tim Joyce
Swimming sources tell Concussion Inc. that coach Michael Pliuskaitis, who appealed his lifetime ban last year by USA Swimming, will have a hearing before the U.S. Olympic Committee next month.
(At the bottom of this post are links to our coverage of Pliuskaitis. Editor Muchnick apologizes for past typos in the spelling of the coach’s last name in one post, which we believe have been cleaned up.)
We don’t know if the Pliuskaitis case will be discussed in the “independent review” USA Swimming has commissioned of the Safe Sport program it initiated in 2010 following embarrassing investigations on network television. But we recommend that Congressman George Miller take a close look at both the claims of victims and the contention by Pliuskaitis that he got singled out for punishment by the swimming authorities. (And people with information on Pliuskaitis or anyone else are encouraged to continue to contact Miller or other investigators, discreetly if necessary — see https://concussioninc.net/?p=8436.)
Beyond that, the narrative is valuable because of its reach beyond USA Swimming’s defensive and legalistic four walls. Unlike Paul Bergen, his mentor in coaching and forerunner in sexual abuse allegations, Pliuskaitis has been banned, not merely “flagged.” But banned or flagged, both continue to have careers and incomes in the sport through the American Swimming Coaches Association and/or U.S. Masters Swimming. The same was true for the only recently banned Mitch Ivey. The same is true of Bergen’s fellow International Swimming Hall of Fame member Murray Stephens, founder of Michael Phelps’ North Baltimore Aquatic Club and still the club’s landlord at the Meadowbrook Aquatic Center.
The same swimming sources who alerted us to Pliuskaitis’s upcoming USOC appeal hearing said he either has moved from Virginia to Utah, or is planning to do so soon. Utah is the home state of the former club swimmer of his with whom he entered into a relationship. She also swam for monster fired University of Utah coach, and unindicted 15-year-old swimmer molester, Greg Winslow.
We received no reply to a request for comment to an email address through which we had previously succeeded in communicating with Pliuskaitis.
Published February 17th, 2013
Published June 26th, 2013
Published June 27th, 2013
Published July 16th, 2013
Published July 18th, 2013